Matt Kenseth’s Win Gives Ford A Fourth-Straight Ford 400 Victory At Ford Championship Weekend
* Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Fusion, won Sunday’s NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway and moved up two spots to finish fourth in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. Kenseth’s win is the fourth-straight victory for Ford in the Cup race at Ford Championship Weekend.
* Matt Kenseth was the top Ford driver in the NASCAR Busch Series race, finishing third in his No. 17 Fusion. Kenseth moved up one spot to finish 10th in the standings.
* Rick Crawford was the top Ford driver in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, finishing third in his No. 14 F-150. Crawford moved up one spot to finish fifth in the standings.
DEARBORN, Mich., November – Ford Racing fans enjoyed a dominant performance by Matt Kenseth and his Fusion in the Ford 400, the NASCAR Nextel Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and the final race of Ford Championship Weekend, the final major racing weekend of the year.
Kenseth joined his teammate, Greg Biffle, who won the three previous NASCAR season finales, in giving Ford a fourth-consecutive victory in the race at Homestead, Fla.
Kenseth had the best car in the field and led for most of the day with a race-high 214 laps. The victory launched Kenseth up two spots to claim fourth place in the final Chase for the Nextel Cup standings after sitting 12th just three weeks ago. Earlier in the Chase, he experienced a string of bad luck that took him out of the title competition.
“I guess we had five really good runs to finish the year off and that feels good,” said Kenseth. “We really ran strong throughout the chase. I think our performance obviously wasn’t quite as good as the 48 [Jimmie Johnson} and maybe the 24 [Jeff Gordon] but I think our performance was as good or better than any other chase closing the season out, so it’s pretty awesome to get up to fourth from where we were five weeks ago. Tonight we just had a dominant car.”
Kenseth was also successful in the NASCAR Busch Series race on the previous day where he took third place. Fellow Ford drivers Carl Edwards, Stephen Leicht, Greg Biffle, Bobby Hamilton Jr. and Marcos Ambrose joined in the top-10.
Kenseth’s effort also placed him in the top-10 of the Busch Series standings, giving Ford a total of seven drivers in the top 10 in points.
One of those drivers is David Ragan, who clinched Rookie-of-the-Year honors in the Busch Series.
“This is what we set out to do in the springtime,” said Ragan. “This was one of our goals this year to finish in the top-10 in points and win rookie of the year. And we finished fifth in points and won rookie of the year. Two of the three we got to cross off. I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t win a race this year, but we were pretty close a few times. But that gives us something to look forward to next year. It’s very cool to be the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year.”
In the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series race, Rick Crawford took his No. 14 F-150 to a third place finish after Jon Wood won his first pole of the year when he set a new track qualifying record of 31.18 seconds (173.199 mph).
David Starr had a very impressive run in the race, finishing sixth after starting the race from the 30th position.
“We’re pretty excited,” Starr said. “Dennis Connor [crew chief] and all the guys on the Circle Bar Team did a heck of a job. We pitted early and made adjustments on the truck because it was a little free from the center off. We just got out of the pit sequence and we were able to stay out on the lead lap. We made some great adjustments and we were able to finish in sixth.”
The NASCAR competitors in all three series will have the next month off before official testing for the 2008 season starts in Daytona in January.
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